“Well, there will be no shortage of men on horses coming your way this year!” This is what the tarot reader told me in Mexico, under the bougainvillea in the pretty courtyard at the hotel in San Miguel. There were cards spread out on the table, many of them knights. “But the one you’re really waiting for arrives at the end of the year.” Dante pointed to the Wheel of Fortune and the four of wands.
I’ve had many sessions over zoom with Dante. But my favorite readings are when we get to be in person together. (And it’s possible I ask about love every time. 😉 Just knowing that there is nothing for me to do, that love will come, that horses will arrive, that my fortune will turn. It helps me calm down in the present and trust the unfolding.
This last trip to Mexico is still in me. It seems that no matter how many times I go (I’ve been visiting San Miguel for 23 years now) I am still deeply nourished by my time there. I crave the cobblestones and the warm painterly light. I long for the pink and purple bougainvillea petals fluttering onto the ground. Even the smell of exhaust in the bustling streets makes me smile. It’s like the best kind of recurring dream, a place I visit over and over again that lives in a magical realm for me.
I had been feeling blah before I left, a kind of unnameable malaise that I couldn’t put my finger on, but felt like depression. I found myself tired all the time, wondering why life was so long and felt so pointless. I wondered if it was menopause. I wondered if it was my recent breakup. I wondered if it was my thyroid or my testosterone levels, or maybe it was my astrology or the pandemic or all those true crime podcasts I’ve been listening to?
And so I set an intention before I left for the trip – May I remember how beautiful and amazing life can be. May I rise above whatever this is and remember my aliveness again.
And then it happened one night in San Miguel. Just as our food was being served, a Whitney Houston song started playing and the most incredible drag queens filed in and started high-kicking near our table. It was delightful, joyful, ecstatic – the entire restaurant erupting in cheers and whoops and singing along. A few glorious songs later, the queens invited us all to dance… and by some wacky San Miguel kismet, the rest of our retreat group walked into the restaurant (they had heard the music from the street) and we all danced and sang together in a surreal kind of dream.
THIS is what I had called in! I thought – a reminder that life could be vibrant and magical. I just needed to step into the flow again.
Since coming home, I’ve been trying to hold onto this feeling and bring it back into my regular life. And sure enough, there was plenty of magic right here in my neighborhood. I visited the Aftel Archive of Curious Scents here in Berkeley as a kind of solo wonder date all my own! I’ve been interested in making my own natural perfumes and Mandy Aftel is the queen! There was a scent organ (pictured above) and smells from every flower and plant imaginable.
After getting inspired there, I googled “natural perfume class near me” and found a class just an hour away for the very next weekend. I made my very own perfume blend and got to spend the day with a circle of women learning something new.
What I really want to say is: This curiosity, this desire to learn and experience, feels like the best kind of life force. The most pure kind of energy. This is the energy that is helping me rise above the meno-malaise! Oh, and the adaptogens I’ve been taking. They are helping too!
P.S. We will be going back to San Miguel in January 2024. Send me an email if you’d like to be the first to be notified! email@example.com